Drive Your Culture Through Accountability

By Bill Kaiser, Vice President One of the many positives of my work is that I get to meet and work with great leaders.  Each day is an opportunity to learn something new.  Recently, the CEO of one of my clients asked me if there was anything in particular that stood out that leaders I’ve met with are commonly challenged by. Several came to mind.  Many continue to be challenged by the tight labor market.  Finding and keeping A+ talent remains a daily grind. Some need more consistency with top line growth and others are hoping for less consistency with ...

The Science Behind Behavior Change

By Al Curnow, Vice President At High Performing Culture, we understand that the creation and development of an extraordinary culture requires a couple of key ingredients.  We must first define those behaviors (Fundamentals), that if practiced regularly by our team members, would make us stand out above our competitors.  Then, we must figure out ways to make these behaviors stick through continual coaching and teaching. We’ve seen this process work with close to 300 organizations across the country.  An important element of effective coaching and teaching, however, is understanding just how behavior change really works.  It would be easy if ...

When’s the right time to work on your culture?

By Rob Wolff, Vice President Like all of us at HPC, one of the hats I wear is that of a salesperson, and one of the most common responses any of us receive from CEOs and business owners is that “we really need to do this, but it’s just not the right time because _________.”  When I hear that phrase, I immediately think that if that’s the case, then working on your culture is the LAST thing you should put off!  After all – your culture is among the few things that touches and impacts literally everything that happens at ...

Practicing the “Human Touch”

By David Friedman, Founder/CEOThe other day I received a birthday card in the mail.  It had no personal note in it, but did have the business card of the person sending it.  He’s a mortgage lender who secured construction financing for us 12 years ago when we were building our house.  I haven’t spoken to him or heard from him since that loan, other than an annual birthday or holiday card with his business card (and sometimes a list of the awards he’s won).  Here’s the ironic thing:  he likely thinks he’s keeping in touch with me and increasing the ...

Show Me the Numbers

  By Melanie Booher, Senior Consultant Good business leaders are often praised for their strong financial prowess, ability to drive numbers, and steadfastness in obtaining results. Metrics are their holy grail.   Great business leaders are also people-minded. And while it can be difficult to measure softer items (like feelings, empathy, engagement, camaraderie), they do matter and they do impact results.  I’ll never forget the time this lesson really stood out: As the HR leader at a small firm, I had worked hard to secure approval from our CEO granting everyone 1/2 day off (and in a billable environment this is ...

How to Write Effective Fundamentals

By Jake Friedman, Consultant Two weeks ago, my colleague, HPC Senior Consultant Bill Kaiser, wrote about how to brainstorm the behaviors (we call them “Fundamentals”) that drive success in your organization, and why that’s important to do well if you want your culture to become a sustainable competitive advantage. Today, I’ll talk about how to effectively write those behaviors so that they’re able to be taught and understood clearly by your people. Together, these two activities, brainstorming and writing behaviors, make up the first step in the Fundamentals System’s 8-step framework for driving a high performing culture. Explanatory descriptions Each ...

How do your employees perform?

By Bill Kaiser, Senior Consultant Your people are the difference. Sometimes that sounds sing-songy because in many organizations it’s an inauthentic claim.  In high performing cultures – it’s gospel. How your people behave and perform, day in and day out, is the only sustainable differentiation you have. That means you have to be intentional and systematic in defining the employee behaviors that drive, and are fundamental, to your continued success. In fact, this is one of the most important premises on which the entire Fundamentals System is built – and it’s Step #1. Who should be included As HPC Founder ...

Culture: The Key to Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

By Al Curnow, Senior Consultant  In the May 2nd  issue of our blog, my colleague, Rob Wolff, wrote an important piece on the topic of Culture as a Strategic Initiative. Given some recently announced labor statistics, I wanted to take a deeper dive on one of the elements Rob had touched on in his piece—recruiting and retaining top talent.  The U.S. Department of Labor announced last month that the unemployment rate was now down to 3.6%!  This is the lowest level since 1962.  While you may have already been feeling the sting of a tight labor market, the screws have ...

Culture as a Strategic Investment

By Rob Wolff, Senior Consultant Although the economy is, by most measures robust and healthy right now, organizations of every size continue to struggle with managing capital budgets and investment strategies. A healthy economy doesn’t always mean an abundance of available capital; therefore, businesses owners and CEO’s continue to face the challenge of deciding where the biggest impact and return is likely to come from. A recent survey of small and midsize business owners showed that Productivity Improvement, Recruiting and Retention, and Marketing are among the top areas vying for investment. This should come as no surprise, as these are ...

When’s the “Right Time” for Culture? Yesterday.

By David J. Friedman, Founder/CEO Having written two books, given more than 400 workshops, delivered scores of keynote talks, and presented to hundreds of companies, I’ve probably explained the Fundamentals System™ to more than 10,000 leaders.  In nearly every case they’ve been astonished by the simple elegance and practicality of the approach.  And yet, as simple and powerful as the approach is, they don’t all implement it.  Why? The most common explanation I hear goes something like this:  “We believe in this and it makes all the sense in the world, but we’re so swamped right now and have several ...